Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Friday, March 7th 2014
Created: Mar 7th 6:27 am
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW today. Mostly stable snow exists in the forecast area.  Despite this, the remote possibility exists to find unstable snow in the highest elevations (above 4,000’) and around cornices.

Remember that LOW hazard is not the same as NO hazard. 

1-2” of snow that fell 2 days ago has made travel conditions a little less noisy, but still firm enough to get bounced around.

Primary Concern

Warm temps, along with a small amount of rain that fell last week has since refrozen.  The rain/snow line climbed as high as 4,000’ during this period.  As a result a stout crust formed up to ridge crests and summits.  This crust has effectively locked the vast majority of the snowpack in place.  Exceptions to this set up could be found in very steep shaded terrain above 4,000’ (where slabs 1-3' in depth are sitting on a layer of weak snow) or on and below cornices that are sitting in the sun.  

It is important to always be ready to make your own assessments, especially as conditions change.  Use this advisory as a starting off point.  If you observe or encounter something different let us know.  You can submit your observations from the field by clicking HERE.   

Despite a lack of avalanche activity, it is always important to learn, develop, and practice good travel habits.  Expose only one person at a time to hazards, use islands of safety in steep terrain, and communicate decisions and plans within your group.

Mountain Weather

Temperatures in the past 24 hours have averaged 15 degrees F at the Sunburst station (3,812’).  Winds there have been light, averaging 4 mph with a max gust of 14mph.  No new precipitation has fallen.

Today expect partly cloudy skies.  Temperatures at 1,000’ will approach 30 degrees F.  Winds will be light out of the East.  No precipitation is in the forecast for today.

The extended outlook is showing the potential for a more active pattern developing in the early part of next week.  Low pressure systems tracking through the gulf of Alaska could move far enough North to bring much needed snow to the area.  Keep your fingers crossed!

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Nov 18, 2017 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedOnly a few inches of snow sits at the motorized lot, not enough to open for snowmachining at this time. Updated Nov. 18, 2017
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

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